US: Two Californian factories punished over safety issues
Two garment factories in California have been issued with orders to stop working with dangerous equipment until they can ensure the equipment has appropriate safeguards.
El Monte-based Vinh Loi had an industrial fabric cutter with improper safeguards to the cutting blade as well as the belt and pulley.
Denim washing business Kinary had nine of its eleven industrial washers removed from service by Cal/OSHA until the proper safeguards in the belt and pulley workings on the washers are reinstalled. Two of the same washers were not equipped with interlocks to prevent movement of the washer drums while the door is open. A worker was crushed to death in July 2011 after falling into an open, operating washing machine with missing interlocks at another denim washing shop in Los Angeles.
"Employers are required to ensure that their equipment is safe for workers to operate," said Department of Industrial Relations director Christine Baker, who oversees the task force. "When industrial machinery does not have the proper safeguards, workers can be killed or suffer serious injuries including amputation.
Vinh Loi is also under investigation by the Labor Commissioner's Office and the Employment Development Department for labour law issues including cash pay, and overtime as well as possible payroll tax violations. The state agencies have served notice of a pending audit to further investigate the business.
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